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Author Topic: Is the KX3 all it's cracked up to be or fake?  (Read 76792 times)
N2RRA
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« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2012, 06:47:17 AM »

I'm definitely trying to convince myself weather ,or not it's really worth the money for sure. Just looking for justification to buy one and not feel like I got robbed much like I felt with a K2. Don't get me wrong! It was a great radio ,but to me it wasn't all cracked up to be what I thought and sold it fast.

The K3 is a different animal ,but after watching the comparison video i was expecting more and the extra hour ,or two of batt life to me isn't a factor.

If you're talking satellites then I respect your choice of radios to bring. Except, I doubt very highly if you're gonna listen on the F6A SSB/CW receive I think you'll miss out on something unless the signal is strong. Can't see the receivers being equal between the TH-F6A and FT-817.

I'd love to borrow a KX-3 ,but I'm too responsible too borrow someone else's new KX3 and to nervous something would happen to it no matter how careful I'd be. Besides, I'd wouldn't even let someone borrow my new KX3. LOL!

I'd love to find someone in the area that I could meet up with to compare and play around with.

73!
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2012, 06:03:46 AM »

I'm definitely trying to convince myself weather ,or not it's really worth the money for sure. Just looking for justification to buy one and not feel like I got robbed much like I felt with a K2. Don't get me wrong! It was a great radio ,but to me it wasn't all cracked up to be what I thought and sold it fast.

The K3 is a different animal ,but after watching the comparison video i was expecting more and the extra hour ,or two of batt life to me isn't a factor.

If you're talking satellites then I respect your choice of radios to bring. Except, I doubt very highly if you're gonna listen on the F6A SSB/CW receive I think you'll miss out on something unless the signal is strong. Can't see the receivers being equal between the TH-F6A and FT-817.

I'd love to borrow a KX-3 ,but I'm too responsible too borrow someone else's new KX3 and to nervous something would happen to it no matter how careful I'd be. Besides, I'd wouldn't even let someone borrow my new KX3. LOL!

I'd love to find someone in the area that I could meet up with to compare and play around with.

73!

I will repeat what I said before:

Are looking for a response from someone here to justify spending the money on a KX3?  If you already have an 817 and use it as a portable rig, then the difference in performance is not going to be all that noticeable.  If you just want a shiny new toy, and you have the money burning a hole in your pocket, go ahead and get the KX3.  If you use the 817 as your home/fixed rig with a decent antenna, then in the same conditions, the KX3 will perform noticeably better.
Gene

Your earlier response was that you are not looking for a justification for buying the KX3, but now you are saying that you are.  This is what I suspected from the beginning.  Why deny it back then?

Gene
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N2RRA
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« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2012, 07:08:01 AM »

Back then I didn't Gene ,but the more I've learned and reserched the radio the question now sits in my mind. Do I ,or don't I?

So your point is?

No one is denying anything ,but like you said..... "Seeing the direct  side by side comparison is more useful."

I'm  convinced the FT-817ND is still truly a QRP rig that can't be matched because if its versatility which is what I look for in a radio. Your not going to take a knife to a gun fight unless you know how to strategize and know how to use it. That's why there's a 20ft. rule both for P.D. and on the street.

In one of my videos I ran the FT-817ND in a ARRL 10m contest with no filters and the band was flooded. All this jazz people are saying about the FT-817ND's receiver is non-sense to a degree. In the video the radio does just fine with +20 over signals and signals adjacent to me. Not the first time I've used the radio and yes I've even used the radio with filters in one other FT-817 I owned so I know how both react with, with out and with a DSP noise cancel unit. The radio works just fine and there's nothing it lacks for normal operation, or occasional heavy traffic use.

The point I was trying to make with the thread was to see if anyone else instead of speculations could actually say "I own both...this and this and that" could give me their opinion ,or video comparison of the two.

No so much the other way around!


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KE5JPP
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« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2012, 07:47:00 AM »

Back then I didn't Gene ,but the more I've learned and reserched the radio the question now sits in my mind. Do I ,or don't I?

So your point is?

No one is denying anything ,but like you said..... "Seeing the direct  side by side comparison is more useful."

I'm  convinced the FT-817ND is still truly a QRP rig that can't be matched because if its versatility which is what I look for in a radio. Your not going to take a knife to a gun fight unless you know how to strategize and know how to use it. That's why there's a 20ft. rule both for P.D. and on the street.

In one of my videos I ran the FT-817ND in a ARRL 10m contest with no filters and the band was flooded. All this jazz people are saying about the FT-817ND's receiver is non-sense to a degree. In the video the radio does just fine with +20 over signals and signals adjacent to me. Not the first time I've used the radio and yes I've even used the radio with filters in one other FT-817 I owned so I know how both react with, with out and with a DSP noise cancel unit. The radio works just fine and there's nothing it lacks for normal operation, or occasional heavy traffic use.

The point I was trying to make with the thread was to see if anyone else instead of speculations could actually say "I own both...this and this and that" could give me their opinion ,or video comparison of the two.

No so much the other way around!




Just go and buy one already!  You'll be supporting a US company and the US economy. Then you can give us your first hand experiences with the KX3. Everybody wins.

Gene
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N2RRA
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« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2012, 08:13:22 AM »

OKay! Sounds good ,but now all you gotta do is your part and loan me half the money.  Wink

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WA6KYR
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« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2012, 08:28:40 PM »

I own both the 817nd and the kx3.
I do not care for the 817 because it is hard  to turn on and hard to see the display.
The ergonomics are difficult for me on the  817.
The kx3 is in a different ball game.   The ergonomics are fantastic and the radio is a modern
radio with major capabilities.  I plan to try SOTA  and what I may   do is put the  PSK exchanges in memories.  Push m1 for CQing  m2 for information.
I could then send   other stuff using the key  and finish a qso in PSK using the hand key.
No keyboard would be necessary.   You could also do the same thing  using RTTY.
Another thing I have noticed is that the KX3 has terrific audio.   The audio even on a noisy band is easy to take.  I have seen that the KX3 is even hooked up to an Ipad for a panadapter.   The kx3 utility may be use through a computer for  sending an receiving  cw psk and rtty using  a usb port on the computer..   The software need to be written for the kx3 to take advantage of it's  usb capabilities.
If you like fiddling with equalizers and menus that reconfigure your radio to behave differently then the kx3 is cool.
I guess you can tell that I like the radio.   Bother way the sensitvity is .09 with the preamp
bye  Rich


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ZENKI
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« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2012, 12:50:46 AM »

Everything works. When you are operating QRP its the antenna that matters not the radio. There is no QRP radio that is the equivalent of the radio walking on water. Well there is, its a Harris RF-5800H-MP but most of us cant afford it.

These days a good noise reduction or noise blanking system is more important than receiver performance when operating QRP. The next  thing after good noise blanker is a 100 watt amplifer. You then back to the equivalent of a
normal mobile HF radio. You notice now that everyone has the KX3, that they all asking what amp they should buy! Thats irony and the stupidity of the  cute QRP radio syndrome. If you a sucker for punishment  its a good
way to waste a  lot of time. I much prefer a normal 100 watt radio like the FT857 which BTW  will be smaller and more convenient than a KX3 with any external amplifier. Why anyone would want the inconvenience of this combination of radio and amplifier is beyond my understanding. The same comments can be made about the FT817 and any external amplifiers when you can buy a FT857. I  even operate my K2 with a 100 watt PA on lithium batteries and it works well.

Hey its a new toy buy one and keep the economy going, we heading for a global depression soon, you need something to make you feel happy.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2012, 04:16:32 AM »

Re: ZENKI

               First,your 100% correct on your statement about the antenna.Secondly, I suspect that some KX3 owners enjoy both qrp AND qro ops and not exclusvely qrp like me,and possibly the fact that some prefer or are downsizing to a single rig station thus the amplifier option and flexibility for both a portable and a home based station.
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K5TED
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« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2012, 09:44:22 AM »

Seems to me the KX3 and FT-817ND are in totally different classes. With the addition of a NUE-PSK and keyboard, the 817 can do some of the digital tricks the KX3 can, but the KX3 can't do some things the 817 can, no matter what you buy.

I'm glad this video was posted. The KX3 is certainly a cool piece of gear, but not something I can sling over my shoulder and walk around with, talking on 2m, 70cm, or even 6m. On the other hand, if I were doing QRP field day with a place to set the equipment down, the KX3 would be much more ergonomically friendly.

I don't see them as competitors at all. More like different tools for different projects. That said, after all the faldera about the KX3, the HF performance seems to be awfully close.

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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2012, 11:43:16 AM »

While I usually do not see eye to eye with ZENKI - on this matter I think he has some valid points.

If you already have an FT817ND, why would you bother to buy another QRP radio?
Sure it will have some different features, and it is SDR technology, but in the end, is it going to make a significant difference to your ham life?
Manufacturers of radio's, like all technology products, like to tell us that their product has "magic dust" which puts it above the pack.
But we have to realise that if we are operating in an RF bog, then having a radio with gold knobs is not going to keep it clean.
H.F. is definitely an RF swamp with the main limitations to communication being local noise sources.

An FT817ND with a nice Collins 500Hz filter is good enough for 99 percent of communications, and it is rugged.
The KX3 is a nice piece of tech, and anyone who buys one will have a great little rig.
But in the real world of H.F. will it make a substantial difference to getting contacts - in my opinion it will not.
I know guys using old legacy gear such as the FT101B which get the same contacts as I do.

The problem lies in people wanting to convince themselves that they have made the right decision.
In many cases they forgo logic and engineering to obtain the desired result.
For example: many reviews of equipment describe how the ham contacted Upper Volta, Timbuktu, or Mars on just 3 watts.
The author then says something to the effect that this shows how good this radio really is!!!
Any 3W radio would do the same, but somehow this elevates their purchasing choice above the pack.

On the subject of linear amplifiers and QRP rigs, it all depends on your ham radio niche interests.
The QRP fraternity is not a monolithic block of people with just one interest.

Some are in very restrictive situations such as aged care facilities, where low power is mandatory to avoid interference to medical devices.
Others are avid backpackers, where battery life is important, and then there are the minimalists, who enjoy and actively seek challenges.
Some however, may decide that the QRP life is not a 24/7 choice.
In this case they will look for an amplifier and mainly operate qrp when they get bored with QRO.

I had taken the last route for a while, and had a 100W amp and its associated 25Amp PSU.
I found the whole mess of cabling and large footprint equipment not aligned to my sense of aesthetics - so it was all traded off.
Only the FT817ND remains now.
For 100W work I use an FT897D with integrated PSU - a small footprint solution - so ZENKI and I agree on this point as well.
However, we have to recognise that their are real ardent QRP enthusiasts who will never use 100W.
This group would be ill served by a 100W rig turned down to 5W.

We all have the same desire to be part of the herd, and not to be seen to be making a bad decision.
But keep in mind, that this is the number one vulnerability used to sell product by advertising agencies:

Make the consumer feel bad about their current situation - then show them how your product will make them feel better.

When you are wise to their tricks and exploitation of a normal human need, you will be able to avoid being manipulated.
Remember, the modern consumer age began by presidential push in the 1920s when machines caused overproduction.
The population had to be "re-educated" to value new things and give up their frugal ways of re-use and repair.
It took a long time, and the depression made it difficult, but after WW2 it began again in ernest.

The result is insipid sayings today like: "he who dies with the most toys wins", and "life is too short for qrp".
I am sure the Latin equivalent was muttered by the last Romans as they watched the Goths swarming over their walls.

If you already have an FT817, why would you need another rig like the KX3?
The same goes the other way around.
Don't be manipulated by the advertisers and peer pressure - be your own man - that's the best any of us can do.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 12:20:28 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
AA4GA
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« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2012, 09:13:36 PM »

When you are operating QRP its the antenna that matters not the radio.
Obviously the antenna matters; the radio does too though. 

Quote
These days a good noise reduction or noise blanking system is more important than receiver performance when operating QRP.
That's not true where I operate - especially on SOTA activations.  Those mountaintops are pretty doggone quiet.

Quote
The next  thing after good noise blanker is a 100 watt amplifer. You then back to the equivalent of a
normal mobile HF radio.
That assumes that most people who operate QRP want to QRO.  Most I know do not.  Either that, or they have a separate rig for QRO.  I don't know where your insistence that QRPers need/want to run over 5 watts comes from. 

Quote
You notice now that everyone has the KX3, that they all asking what amp they should buy!
Actually, no, I haven't noticed that.  I know a fair number of KX3 owners and have heard none of them express a desire to use an amplifier with that rig.  I have ordered a KX3 and have zero desire to use an amplifier with it.  I have thought that someday I might see about building an amplifier to take my QRP rigs to 100 watts or so, but it would be more for the exercise of building the amp rather than feeling I *need* to use an amplifier with the rig.  If I really wanted to run over 5 watts, I have a radio or two I could use for that.  But I don't:  I run those radios at 5 watts output also.

Quote
Thats irony and the stupidity of the  cute QRP radio syndrome. If you a sucker for punishment  its a good
way to waste a  lot of time.
Sucker for punishment?  Waste of time?  I've made around 2000 QSOs this year with over 100 DXCC countries - a couple weeks ago I worked all states in less than 30 hours.  All this with 5 watts to an 80m doublet up 45'. 

Quote
I much prefer a normal 100 watt radio like the FT857
If you prefer a 100 watt radio, why are you constantly trolling the QRP forum here?  I don't get it...talk about a waste of time!

And why is it you never identify yourself with your callsign?  No, it's not necessary here for legal reasons, but I'd think it is only common courtesy to do so in an amateur radio forum.
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AA4GA
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« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2012, 09:31:45 PM »

If you already have an FT817ND, why would you bother to buy another QRP radio?
That's like saying:  If you already have an HF radio, why bother buying another? 

There are many reasons to have multiple radios, not the least of which is that some folks simply like having different radios to use at different times. 

I have done a lot of contesting over the years, and for a while I operated with a pair of FT990s:  I listened to one in one ear and one in the other.  I can see myself becoming seriously enough involved with QRP contesting that I may do the same thing with QRP radios.  That's one of the reasons I'm considering not selling my FT817 after my KX3 arrives (assuming the KX3 does outperform the FT817....which I'm fairly certain it will).  My budget may say otherwise though.  But the bottom line is that there is no reason not to own more than one QRP radio if that's what you want to do and can afford it.

Quote
An FT817ND with a nice Collins 500Hz filter is good enough for 99 percent of communications, and it is rugged.
The KX3 is a nice piece of tech, and anyone who buys one will have a great little rig.
But in the real world of H.F. will it make a substantial difference to getting contacts - in my opinion it will not.
You've totally discounted the ergonomic differences between those two radios - even if they had identical performance, the human interface of the KX3 blows the Yaesu out of the water.  The KX3 is simply much more pleasurable to use.  At least I've found that to be the case. 

Quote
I know guys using old legacy gear such as the FT101B which get the same contacts as I do.
I've got an old Drake R4 that I can use with one of several transmitters that pretty much would let me work anything I work with my Yaesu.  Should I have not added an FT817 because of that?  The Yaesu is certainly more convenient than running separates.

Quote
For example: many reviews of equipment describe how the ham contacted Upper Volta, Timbuktu, or Mars on just 3 watts.
The author then says something to the effect that this shows how good this radio really is!!!
Any 3W radio would do the same, but somehow this elevates their purchasing choice above the pack.
I agree, those are generally pretty silly comments as far as a transmitter goes.


QRA?
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W1JKA
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« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2012, 03:00:28 AM »

RE:AA4GA      

Love the QRA touch also QRF? Interesting post,almost time to hook up another band wagon.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 03:13:23 AM by W1JKA » Logged
WD4ELG
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« Reply #58 on: November 18, 2012, 06:34:17 PM »

STAYVERTICAL/Rob

Well said.
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K7LZR
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« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2012, 04:32:50 PM »

I have TWO FT-817nd rigs. Looked at the KX3 when it first appeared. Didn't even consider replacing the FT-817 with it.

I do a lot of hiking & mountain climbing. Usually its just alone or with a hiking partner. A primary consideration for me is to have as many ways as possible to get a signal out, especially in an emergency. I don't want to carry multiple radios or radio/transverter etc. to accomplish this so the FT-817 wins hands down. In my pack, I carry the FT-817, (2) 75ft. pieces of 20ga. wire, hand mic, small cw key, an Emtech ZM-2 tuner, a small dual-band VHF/UHF antenna, and (2) small 2500mah AA battery packs as well as loading the FT-817 internal battery bay. I have NEVER run out of battery power, even on extended/overnight hikes. And this  with many random QSOs and skeds on various bands/modes.

For me, its simple: with the FT-817 I can go from band-to-band, mode-to-mode, HF-to-VHF-to-UHF etc. without having to fish around for an HT (with its own power concerns) or fiddle with hooking up a transverter and doing the mental frequency display math to select frequencies.

This is especially important in an emergency because if I must get a call for help out then I can first try area repeaters (list is printed before leaving and carried with me), if no go then I can try FM simplex, if no go then I can try HF. All with THE SAME RADIO. Precious seconds saved by not messing with multiple boxes!

Emergencies aside, IMHO the FT-817 wins for other reasons also. It covers aircraft and FM broadcast. Not important for hiking/camping but FM broadcast is nice for a bit of entertainment. I also think that the FT-817 is more rugged than the KX3.

I should mention that I've also used my FT-817s as mobile and base stations on all bands/frequencies and they work very well for me. On HF at home I use a homebrew 100w amplifier and the setup works as well as nearly any other 100w HF radio. And having two FT-817s allows me to monitor and use both HF & VHF/UHF simultaneously. And having two of them makes satellite ops a snap if I ever want to do so.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you already have an FT-817, don't buy the KX3. Buy a 2nd FT-817 instead. You'll have a MUCH more versatile system!

    



« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 04:37:12 PM by KA7BTV » Logged
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